A discerning member of my New York readership has sent me a roundabout request for more poetry (so moved was he by my version of daffodil’s that he has asked me to be best man at his yet to be announced, scheduled, planned or proposed wedding*).
Unfortunately my creative pores have ceased to weep, so we shall have to make do with a little bit of William Blake writing on his garden (or at least I think he was writing about his garden, what else could provoke such emotion in a grown man?).
When I first married you, I gave you all my whole soul,
Thought that you would love my loves & joy in my delights,
Seeking for pleasures in my pleasures O Daughter of Babylon,
Then thou wast lovely, mild and gentle, now there art terrible,
In jealousy & unlovely in my sight, because thou hast cruelly,
Cut off my loves in fury till I have no love left for thee,
William Blake, Milton
Now here Oor Wullie touches on an area that is sadly neglected in modern garden writing, the fact that mother nature is viscous mean and capricious in the extreme. She teases us with glimpses of gorgeous wildflower meadows, tropical waterfalls cascading with ferns, parakeets and monkeys, and then gives us this.
(Yes, it’s my garden. No giggling. I only moved to this house a month ago and I still have a long way to go in my campaign to build a garden Arcadia. I also rent and am exceptionally impoverished, being riddled with expensive addictions and all, so I’m trying to restore this fallen Eden on a budget of about £13. More on my garden in later posts.)
It must be recognised that a love of gardening is an extremely heavy cross to bear. Blake was clearly a man gardening in dry shade and heavy clay. He felt like me the pain each year as circumstances (slugs, ill timed holidays, house parties (I believe I read some where that the Blake’s threw a bangin’ house party)) contrived to destroy his most precious progeny. Gardens have sentience, and each an individual nature, like humans some are bright, cheerful, accommodating, and helpful. Others are little buggers.
However I believe the key to gardening in an environment that hates you lies in another piece of Blake’s writing; “He who binds himself to joy doth the winged life destroy, but he who kisses the joy as it flies lives in eternity’s sunrise.” Remember that all life in your garden is fleeting, do not build your existence solely around your (admittedly magnificent) herbaceous borders, one day they too will leave you and your garden will be as barren as mine. However I took my pleasure in that sole annenomie that meekly showed her head through the cracks in my patio, I let her wither and I moved on, I had a Barbeque. That my dears is how my poor gardening and rubbish soil has lead me to write this from a paradise of eternal sunrise.
*To all interested parties, I make an amazing best man and come replete with a comprehensive catalogue of amusing anecdotes, horticultural and otherwise. For bookings please contact me via the replies screen.